In the Media
Struggling to conserve seed biodiversity: the gaps and wisdom in current research
July 18, 2012
Biodiversity conservation is huge field, but at its heart we find something very small: the seed. From seeds come the plants we need and food for the animals we hope to conserve as well. Knowledge of seed dispersal, or how seeds are generated and move through the landscape, is essential if we are to understand the influence of human activity on biodiversity.
What do we know and what do we not know? To answer these questions, Kim McConkey and colleagues, including researchers from India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Spain, reviewed research published since 2000. They sought to determine what advice should be given to conservationists. At present, advice that might help isn’t often shared in a way that affects outcomes, so they performed this review to widen channels of communication.
Their review looked at the four causes of changing biodiversity and what is known about how seeds interact with each of them. They are (a) fragmenting plant and animal habitat, (b) overharvesting of plants and animals, (c) invasive species crowding out native plants and animals, and (d) changing climate.
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Keywords: biodiversity, Climate Change, deforestation